Trina’s Birth of Matthew
My first child, was truly beautiful, he still is. Everyone says so, but to my shame I didn't like my baby, at all. My pregnancy went really well and we bonded while I was pregnant. I didn't want a hospital birth but i was forced into it by my husband who is so used to a medicalized world that he was just terrified something would go wrong and he would lose me; well it did go wrong, but not in the way anyone would expect. The hospital completely did my head in. My husband, mother and mother-in-law where coming with me as I am close to all three and I am so glad they where with me.
I labored at home really well and in the car I continued to progress but as soon as we reached the hospital my fear of hospitals hit me like a ton of bricks and i shut down labor almost to a complete stand still; contractions where right on top of each other but i didn't progress from 4cm. I declined the c-section repeatedly making a deal with the staff that if his heart rates went bad they could cut me but not a second sooner. 64 hours after being admitted I began to progress again and i was moved back into a "birthing suite" but the midwives crowded me, the lights where bright and I was asked by the on duty obstetrician if he could examine me. As soon as he did he declared me 8cm and then despite this progress and my birth plan saying i didn't want one he did a big stretch and sweep in the middle of an intense contraction without first asking if he could, then as i was repeatedly telling him not to he broke my waters and then left. I got off the bed and tried to give myself some privacy but was never left alone for even a second. feeling surgically raped and utterly defeated I dropped to my knees on the cold hard linoleum and didn't move, I couldn't take anymore. After 4 hours like this I felt our baby crown, it felt like I was being ripped in two but I couldn't make a sound. As soon as his shoulders had been delivered the midwife attending me PULLED the rest of him out and cut and clamped the cord and handed the baby to my mother. Who was a bit confused at this. then the midwife Yanked to severed umbilical cord to "see if the placenta had detached" it hadn't and this was the most painful thing that had happened yet (I also have studied birth more since our child's birth and discovered that this maneuver could have inverted my uterus and killed me) I begged for the needle i had just declined and the after birth came out very quickly. As soon as it was delivered I was thrown into the shower while waiting family members cuddled our baby. I still had not even seen him nor did I know he was a boy. I felt weird; kind of like I'd lost a leg and I sat sullenly in the hot water as the apprentice midwife showered me. (They put me in the shower so I wouldn't bleed everywhere) over an hour later they helped me dress, put me in a chair and the family members who had seen my baby before me put him in my arms, fully clothed and said "here's Matthew" We had not decided on his name, but it was already filled in on the forms, someone else had bathed and dressed him and though i was now holding him he didn't feel like he belonged to Mark and I, he felt like a substitute. An imposter. I was numb to him and his cries and all the people congratulating us on a supposedly easy and very clean delivery- I didn't have so much as a scratch even though he weighed in at a hair below 4kg.
On the same day of Matthews birth I got started on e.c. and I got to breastfeeding him really well, people visited and no one had a clue what was going on in my head, except my friend Melinda who visited the day after and noticed i was acting like "just another day, oh and there's that thing in the clear plastic box feel free to hold it" which is pretty accurate really. I had been so walked all over that I didn't even make the effort to say no to anyone who wanted to hold the fussy little creature in the "box" I sat and waited to feel something, we took Matthew home on his third day of life and I continued to wait and pretend that I loved him, i was a good actress other than Melinda who said nothing until I shared with her a little while ago noticed anything and i simply waited, desperate to actually feel something, ANYTHING.
Almost four months Later I still didn't even like Matthew let alone love him. I was really concerned and guilt ridden as i called our community mid-wife and told her, she came over immediately and put her arms around me and cried while i stood numb, cold and unfeeling. We worked closely for a long time and continue to do so today. At six months old I looked at Matthew and felt a tiny bit of happiness and while it wasn't love it was a step in that direction. By 10 months old I really did love him but not the way i thought i would, it's more like an adopted child than my own flesh and blood.
Matthew is now 14 months and I recently found out I am pregnant again though it wasn't planned. It feels unreal to me this time, like I've already shut down on this child who has done nothing wrong and I'm TERRIFEID that I will go through the same issues I did with Matthew. I have stood my ground this time and I am having an unassisted birth, my mum and mother-in-law are backing me up against my hubby who isn't happy about it but is slowly getting used to the idea; he saw how much it screwed me up last time. I know part f it is decision and in the end the only thing that made me bond with Matthew was the decision I made from the day he was born and that first feeling of "nothing" that I would make the effort to "love him" but it was so so hard and i am trying every second of everyday not to worry and be cutting this new baby off from myself. but will that be enough?